Dickson land scandal: worse than we thought


* Government paid $3.9 million to the Tradies Club for a building housing the CFMEU HQ

* Government rented back the building to the Tradies for $1 per year

* Auditor-General said the ACT government “relinquished considerable financial value to the Tradies”

* Auditor-General said, “there is also a high risk that the Directorate sold Block 30 Section 34 to the Tradies in breach of the Planning and Development Act 2007.”

Quotes by Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe:

“The scandalous land deals between the ACT Labor-Greens government and the Tradies are far worse than we thought.
“Today’s Auditor-General’s report reveals the extent of the terrible deal for taxpayers.
“When Canberrans hear about this scandal, they will rightly feel betrayed by the Labor-Greens government.
“The Auditor-General’s report is a grave indictment on the Chief Minister.
“Over the coming days, the Canberra Liberals will examine the Auditor-General’s report in detail.”

Quotes from the Auditor-General’s report:

“… there is a high risk the Directorate relinquished an estimated value with an upper range of $2.4 million to $2.65 million to the Tradies.” page 68, para 2.121
“The paucity of the evidence trail around key tender decisions, negotiations and probity means the Economic Development Directorate did not comply with ACT procurement policy, or meet widely accepted standards of transparency and good practice in procurement.” page 60, para 2.91
“There is also a high risk that the Directorate sold Block 30 Section 34 to the Tradies in breach of the Planning and Development Act 2007.” page 1
“The merits of the Territory’s agreement to the final settlement terms for the blocks is not evident. In particular, the final terms for Block 6 Section 72, on balance, appear to provide significant benefits to the Tradies (e.g. 42 months rent‐free and immediate cash payment) for no evident additional value to the Territory.” page 93, para 3.70
“The Territory sold Block 30 Section 34 on favourable terms to the Tradies (estimated to be in the range of up to $1.57 million to $1.82 million less than the potential value of the block) and acquired Block 6 Section 72 from the Tradies for an estimated $830,000 more than its potential worth. The lack of documentation associated with the assessment of the benefits, costs and risks associated with the land swap arrangement means that the value of the land swap arrangement to the Territory is not demonstrated.” page 78, para 3.76

Auditor-General’s report here: